Assigning a character to a tree may be all the inspiration you need. Is the tree wise, tired, angry or kind? There are many examples of talking trees from Greek mythology and literature. An alternative stimulus could be research about gargoyles or the green man. The practical purpose of gargoyles in architecture is to channel water away from the masonry walls. They were designed to look grotesque or fantastical in order to protect those that they guarded. The green man is a facial sculpture surrounded by leaves. Forms of this character are found in many different cultures through the ages. The icon is generally interpreted as a symbol of the cycle of new life at spring.